Many country music fans remember Keith Whitley as a generational talent. Alongside contemporaries like Randy Travis and George Strait, the Kentucky native was poised to lead the genre in the ’90s and stay at the forefront his entire life. That was until his own life was cut short at just 34 in 1989.
In 2022, Whitley’s music has had the kind of unexplained resurgence that only TikTok can be responsible for. Her song “Miami, My Amy” has found new life through the social media app. It was a wonderful surprise, as few voices have been more worthy of finding new life.
Yet this unexpected resurgence is a phenomenon that would be difficult to explain to anyone who has purchased their first full album, LA in Miami, in 1985. “Miami, My Amy”, written by Dean Dillon, Hank Cochran and Royce Porter, was the lead track on Whitley’s debut album. The song became the second single from LA to Miami and peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard charts, positioning him for success ahead of the release of his 1988 album Do not close your eyes.
Although “Miami, My Amy” found success on the country charts, there was no music video. Whitley was something of a trailblazer when it came to making country music videos, and what might have been after that viral success will forever remain an unsolved mystery.
He only released three full studio albums before his death, but he left us with some of country’s most powerful songs. here is the bootit is selects the 5 best clips of Keith Whitley.
Written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, “When You Say Nothing at All” has become one of Whitley’s signature hits. Alison Krauss’ version of the song again topped the charts nearly a decade later.
Whitley’s clip is simple and shows him alone in a room with a guitar and a motorcycle. When the song is so classic, there’s no reason to distract from what’s already doing the work.
“I’m no stranger to the rain”
Released in 1988, “I’m No Stranger to the Rain” was arguably Whitley’s second most successful single. The music video features Whitley and his band performing at a small cafe. Much like “When You Say Nothing At All”, it’s a fairly simple concept, but nothing more was needed to complete such a large track.
She’s still hung up on an ex, and he’s sure she can move on if she looks at him instead of letting her mind drift to the past. It’s kind of a sad fate for our narrator, who is so determined to be with this woman that he just begs her to keep her focus on him. Maybe then he’d know she wasn’t thinking about the old flame. In the music video, they stick to a literal interpretation of the lyrics, urging viewers to wait and see if his perseverance pays off.
Whitley’s videos went beyond mere lyrical interpretations, instead providing full cinematic narratives. The music video for “Brotherly Love” features the story of two brothers who have grown old and become closer. It begins with a flashback to the couple stealing bikes from each other as teenagers before quickly moving on to the eldest’s wedding vows. As the two hug afterward, they spot a few bikes parked nearby and take a trip down memory lane together. Delightfully and nostalgically cheesy, this video is a Mentos pop far from one of the most memorable ad campaigns of the 90s.
The “Homecoming ’63” theme works wonderfully as a music video set in 1986. In the music video, a married couple returns to their hometown and sneaks into the gymnasium where they went to the Homecoming Ball together all those years ago. years. When the door opens, the color changes to black and white and Whitley leads the group on stage to share the story. It is extremely Back to the future moment, a film released just a year before the music video.